Blog

Everything as a Ticket

Forget "Everything as a Service!", the motto for ServiceNow K15.  According to most people, "Everything is a Ticket!" :)

This is funny situation that affects most people that work on ITSM applications.  People like to refer to every type of record in ServiceNow as a ticket.  Incident = Ticket. Request = Ticket.  Change = Ticket. Everything is ticket and that is the way it is.  

This is ok when you mostly use just Incident Management.  As the Service Catalog expands, requests used are used more,  and custom applications are built, calling everything a ticket does cause some confusion.

Mike:  "All the records in ServiceNow are extended off the task table.  When you click "My Tasks" or My Group's Tasks, you see all your incidents, changes, problems, requests, etcIt is one place to look for all your work.  On other ServiceNow instances, they may use the ITIL Homepage and use the My Groups Work gauge, which also shows all your work.
Employee or Customer Response: "You mean my tickets?" 

Is this aggravating or should we embrace tickets?  

Origins of the Ticket

I couldn't find a picture of an old issue ticket or really much about the origins.  I did find this excerpt on Wikipedia:

"These tickets are so called because of their origin as small cards within a traditional wall mounted work planning system when this kind of support started. Operators or staff receiving a call or query from a user would fill out a small card with the user's details and a brief summary of the request and place it into a position (usually the last) in a column of pending slots for an appropriate engineer, so determining the staff member who would deal with the query and the priority of the request."

I am sure these ticket wall systems existed.  However I can not find one picture.

Is the ticket like betamax tapes, rotary phones, and floppy disk drives?  We don't really "tape a show", "dial a person", and that save icon doesn't make sense anymore.  Still we know what that means and are accustomed to say or use those terms.

I am not much better when I refer to something as a Incident record or Problem record.  Records are old too. From Wikipedia:

The concept of record can be traced to various types of tables and ledgers used in accounting since remote times. The modern notion of records in computer science, with fields of well-defined type and size, was already implicit in 19th century mechanical calculators, such as Babbage's Analytical Engine.

At least tickets are more modern and it is a common term than records.

ServiceNow's Ticket History

In ServiceNow, there is a main task table.  That is where the "tickets" live.  :)  

There was a "ticket" functionality that ServiceNow had once.  ServiceNow Wiki - New Ticket Module.  That application was depreciated, and now ServiceNow Call exists.  ServiceNow Call creates "new_call" records which are automatically converted to incidents, problems, etc based on the Call Type.  The ServiceNow New Ticket application did the same thing, except instead of storing data in the "new_call" table, it was stored in the "ticket" table.

These Call and Ticket applications I dislike.  I used to be a HP Service Manager (HPSM) programmer, and HPSM has "Interactions" and "Incidents".  An "interaction" is a call/email/event and gets elevated to an incident based on certain circumstances.  People found it confusing, and when I moved to ServiceNow instead of HPSM, I was glad to leave interactions behind too.

I recently saw a presentation by ServiceNow where they show the origins of the ITSM record types.  How it has advanced from Ticket to Task to Work and all the new data types.  They will not give me that presentation, I have asked. This is partly because they don't care to share maybe, or maybe it was my vocal opinion that tickets are not dead. People still love tickets.

Should ServiceNow Rename Tasks to Tickets?

I have been on over 200 ITSM application implementations.  Every one of those projects, every one, people say tickets.  I can describe the differences between record types, but they always love saying ticket.

Why do we fight this?  If ServiceNow just renamed the task table to ticket, everyone would be happy.  If ServiceNow says the base table is tickets, developers will say ServiceNow thinks this is best and accept.  Users rejoice!

Imagine the future:

Mike:  "All the records in ServiceNow are extended off the ticket table.  When you click "My Tickets" or My Group's Tickets, you see all your incidents, changes, problems, requests, etc.".  It is one place to look for all your tickets. You can also use the ITIL Homepage and use the My Group's Tickets gauge, which also shows all your tickets.
Employee or Customer Response: "You mean my tickets?" 
Mike:  Yes!

I could just make this change myself, rename the task table to tickets.  However I want ServiceNow to do it in a upgrade.  That way their documentation to change, and just say tickets are the base table.

I have decided to just say tickets now.  They have broken me and I accept tickets.  Like me, ServiceNow should just accept tickets are here to stay.  :)

Mike